Is ‘Agile’ important?

I’ve linked to this on Twitter but I just wanted to comment on it here. Bob Marshall has written this brilliant post titled Agile Development Doesn’t Work and I think it is a must read for anyone in web development (especially on the management side).

It can be summed up with its introductory statement;

How to build great software?
Build a great team, and have them build it for you.

It basically talks about the fact that getting talented, motivated people is the key to success and not the process you use. I remain a big fan of ‘agile’ development but increasingly worry that ‘Agile’ development has become a victim of trying to become mainstream. Look at the price of the courses, the reams of words written about it, the software springing up to support it and the ever growing lists of ‘rules’.

When it works well ‘agile’ is very powerful but I wonder if that is because on those occasions it attracted great teams who could have delivered amazing stuff no matter what the ‘management fad‘*?

GOVUK, to use my standard example, have recruited a small army of very talented, resourceful and dedicated people who would probably deliver brilliant work no matter what framework they were working within – though I do wonder if part of the reason (though maybe a small one) they signed up was the allure of working with agile so it becomes a bit of a chicken and egg kind of thing?

*Bobs phrase not mine 🙂

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